I have spent the past week searching the depths of the internet for strategies for coping with grief. Quite frankly, I must admit that so far I was not able to come up with much more than letting my tears speak for the state that my mind is currently in.
I may not have come up with a great approach myself, as I kept researching, reading and crying myself to sleep, and yet some realizations became very clear over the last couple of days. Regardless of whether or not I will actually follow my own advice in the future, I have decided to write these down in case there’s anyone out there as clueless as me who comes across this blog by coincidence in their own search of acceptance.
The People in Our Lives
All of us know that life is short, I guess. And because it is so short, the last few days have taught me to appreciate those I love and those I care about. At the end of the day, it comes down to the people who are there for us no matter what. Maybe, we should be more open about our feelings. Maybe, we should tell the people we care about much more often how important they are to us before it is too late, not caring about how vulnerable we appear in this moment.
I have also gasped the importance of family. So next time, book that ticket home, give a hug to those you love and listen to them. Ask all the questions and be there for them. Live in the present moment before it becomes a distant memory you wish you would have paid more attention to. Disagree and argue if you must, but do not part ways until all disputes are settled. I personally have decided to avoid getting into fights with the people who matter. I am curious for how long this resolution will hold but for now it seems like the only right thing to do. It is in the moments where we think we have all the time in the world, that fate decides to teach us otherwise.
Letting the Feelings Show
Sadness is a painful emotion. At first it will seem like something so much bigger than ourselves, the pain in our chest, the lump that seems to tear our throat to pieces, the waves of adrenaline that make sleep impossible. Letting your emotions out into the open is the first step towards lightening the burden of devastation and helplessness. Cry if you need to. It does not matter whether the emotions get over you while you are carrying home your groceries or whether your sobs get so loud, the neighbors can hear you. It may hurt now, but slowly, day by day, it will start to get better.
Dreams and Ambitions
What point is there in pushing the things we want to do to a later date? In the moment of loss we become aware of the fragility of our own existence. Go on that trip overseas, wear the pretty dress, even if there is no special occasion to do so, and take a risk to achieve your dreams. It may sound pessimistic, but at the end of the day, none of us know how much time we have left. It would be a pity to waste this time on fear and doubt.
I have never respected religious beliefs as much as I do in this moment. I may not be religious but I have begun to understand (at least for myself) how believing in something bigger than ourselves makes the idea of loss more bearable. Maybe, knowing that the people we love will in some way remain with us for as long as we remember them is what we need to get through such difficult times.